Monday, September 27, 2004

A Good Image Book?

Ten years ago that was an oxymoron. These days the big I seems to be pumping out at least half decent books on a regular basis. I recently picked up the first issue of Robert Kirkman's Invincible ( $2.95, Image Comics) and enjoyed it very much. Once again I'm late to the party, but I did show up eventually. I did have a few problems with the book, but overall it was a very good read. Kirkman's dialogue is believable and his characters are very likeable. In fact it's hard to dislike the star of the book, Mark, even though we don't get to know him very well in this first isuue. Of course, the art has alot to do with that as well. I smiled when Mark gets the idea for what his superhero name should be. Weget glimpsesinto his everey day life along with the standard cape stuff we should expect. I'm hoping something will come of the fact that his father is never there rather thsan to just have it played out as anyother fact of life. I mentioned some problems, and it's probably unfair to say that the book has a problem. Better would be that I have the problem with the growing trend of "realistic" approaches to superheroes. Don't get me wrong, I like it, but I also like gritty books too, and the occasional out and out T&A book, or the over the top action book, or whatever else you can think of. But, just like those things were in their prime, "realistic" has become the new in. Seems everyone's doing it, and while they probably all bring something unique to their books, it would be nice to see comics get past "trends." Be it foil covers, dark and moody characters, disproportionate women, whatever. Yeah, yeah, trends are part of just about everything, but just like film and music, comics have such wide potential for variety it would be nice to see people exploring it to its fullest, not just adding on to the current trend.

None of this is a knock at this book, just my thoughts on the trend it's following. In fact, this was probably the most inappropriate place to talk about this, as I should be talking about Invincible. It's a good read, and I'll be picking up the trade eventually, as should you. It'salso got me interested in the other superhero books Image is putting on the shelves, so I may try and pick some of those up this week.

More later...I swear!


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